Psychologists have been re-discovering nostalgia. They claim it can have therapeutic mind-opening benefits.
As the Beatles sang long ago, “Yesterday, all my troubles seem so far away … Oh I believe in yesterday …”
I’d met a married couple years ago who were both threatening suicide. Due to the pains they’re experiencing in their marriage.
How could they be lifted out of that?
We used nostalgia, among others, during sessions. Visioning. Revisiting their past.
I asked them to think of their love theme song, the times they first met, the long-ago dates they had when they felt most loving and romantic towards each other.
Both also reminisced about the many wacky, fun times they had with their children when they were growing up.
Fortunately, their nostalgia trip remedied enough their joint suicidality!
We’re then able to work together on the deeper issues of their relationship.
Psychologist Tim Wildschut once observed that nostalgia can foster “feelings of connection” between people.
Even if they’re just confined to one person’s mind.
He told Psychology Today, “You revisit old relationships, bring people closer, and for a moment, it’s as if they’re there with you.”
I once emceed a high school reunion with my batch mates where all we talked about were our after-school hang outs, parties, favorite songs, and crushes.
How energized and vitalized the reunion was through nostalgia!
Everyone felt young again in the mind!
Memory can affect the mind to heal.
Those stuck in the negative effects of their present lives can focus on memories that cast the present in positive light.
“Nostalgia seems to stabilize people, to be a source of comfort and reassurance,” says University of North Dakota State psychologist Clay Routledge.